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We once again have a tax break from sales tax for a finite period of time. The tax break eliminates the 6 cent sales tax as well as the 1 cent Duval County tax, saving you roughly % on qualifiying items. What is exempt and what is not? here is a list to help you take advantage! Exempt Items Include: Backpacks & bookbags Crayons & erasers Notebook filler paper Clothing defined as: any article of wearing apparel, including footwear, (does not include skis, swim fins, rollerblades, and skates) intended to be worn about/on the human body (this is from the (10 comments)
Nantucket Photos July 2011 - 07/30/11 11:40 AM
I was thrilled to visit friends in Nantucket last week, just wish I could have stayed longer (don't we always?!).
Here are some pictures from my trip:
This is one of their two collections of buoys on the front of the house.
And this is the second set.
They Hydrangeas were simply gorgeous! I could not believe they were still blooming, as my trip this year was a month later than last year; in my mind, they bloomed in June!
And of course I had to include at least one surf shot! (9 comments)
Specific Game Jaguars Tickets At Great Prices! - 07/29/11 10:43 AM
It's FOOTBALL TIME! The lockout has ended, and pre-season is just around the corner! We had our first public practice last night, along with the Team Teal event at Everbank Field. This is great opportunity to bring whatever group together to a Jaguars football game! Bring your church group, your Bunko group, your fishing buddy group, your Moms out for a night group - bring them all! See below for more info on dates/times for games, and seat selection. The best seats will go first, so you don't want to wait - call me if you need me to send you (6 comments)
Prudential Network Realty's BackPack Challenge - 07/27/11 03:27 PM
Imagine having to leave behind everything that is familiar – home, school, friends, even siblings. This is a reality for foster children. Having their own school backpack, filled with school supplies, is one way these children can fit in with their peers and feel a sense of pride of ownership. Prudential Network Realty and Prudential Financial's Community Volunteer Council are once again making a difference through their 12th annual Backpack Challenge, which runs through August 10. Prudential Network Realty team members last year gathered more than 200 backpacks filled to the brim with school supplies. This year the company has set (2 comments)
Moving To Android From Palm - Any Advice? - 07/27/11 07:47 AM
I'm in the process of buying a new phone, and have decided (pretty much) on an Android. I've had my Palm Pro for 2-3 years, and have noticed it has gotten glitchier as time goes on, sometimes just stalling when I'm trying to access the Supra eKey program to unlock a lockbox, and then I see how much technology, particularly touch screen, has advanced, and I realize it's time to move on from my Palm. I'm curious as to anyone else who has done such a shift, and what advice they have for me in the switch process; I understand I (9 comments)
Clamming on Nantucket - 07/24/11 09:44 AM
I clammed when my family vacationed on Block Island years ago, and it was something you did with your feet then; my parents would go barefoot, but I could not stand the feel of the bottom, so I would wear sneakers, you know, old school Keds. Apparently, there have been improvements in the casual/recreational clamming world. Here is the high tech clamming bucket you use to keep your catch:
I have no idea what we did, I'm thinking it was a bag or your pockets. Here is the potato rake my friends use to "rake" the bottom for clams:
Nantucket Beef - 07/23/11 06:35 AM
Yes, you read that correctly. Now, why, on an island, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and fish, would I write about Nantucket beef? Because, as we sliced our sirloin for the beach yesterday, this little gem appeared:
And, here is a map of Nantucket....so, we FOUND THE IMAGE OF NANTUCKET IN OUR BEEF!
Wonder what we will find today....another great day at the beach shaping up!
Wild Blueberries - 07/22/11 06:32 AM
The weather this morning was not beach weather, not at all, so we had to tweak our plans just a bit. We had two more people join us, so off to the ferry for a 9am arrival, scooped them up, then back to the house. In anticipation of making blueberry vodka, we needed fresh, wild blueberries that grow on the property - an easy enough task, although they are SMALL.
There was no way we could fill up our buckets
Of course part of making excellent blueberry vodka is to use LOCAL vodka, Triple 8 Vodka (9 comments)
Poor Sam! He Has To Wear A Cone! - 07/22/11 06:08 AM
Visiting friends in Nantucket this week, and both of the family woofs ended up going to the vet yesterday. Now, they are brothers, and when Sam got to go first, Orly REALLY thought he was "missing" out on something....if he only knew.... Here is Sam sporting his new cone:
In this one, he reminded me of the RCA dog.....
Poor guy, he was missing his brother, Orly, who had now gone to the vet...the cone was supposed to help a hot spot on his tail heal, but we discovered, it wasn't really big enough to prevent him from getting (14 comments)
Beach Day, Nantucket! - 07/21/11 07:40 AM
Yesterday, after a hearty breakfast at the Even Keel Cafe, we did some random shopping along Nantucket (window shopping really) we then commenced to full vacation mode, and headed to the beach. Nantucket Candy Store
Below is the Jared Coffin house, which is a ship captain's house (or was) in the heart of downtown Nantucket. Ship captains' like to show their wealth by using heavier (=costlier to build) building supplies, such as brick. Jared Coffin House
Now, I live about a mile from the beach in Jacksonville Beach, on the long side, so when I go to the beach (15 comments)
Traveling To Nantucket - 07/20/11 06:52 AM
I'm on vacation (yes!) in Nantucket, on my (hopefully) annual trip. Three years in row must mean something, right??? I flew yesterday from Jacksonville, FL to Washington, DC, and had a 3 hour layover in DC, which really isn't bad. I had purchased the US Air Lounge pass for $30 while I booked my ticket, and that gave me a nice place to make the most of my 3 hours. Complimentary breakfast, coffee, free Internet, and when the bar opened they are actually doing complimentary beverages though the end of July. Nice touch! Having not really been a lounge person before, (9 comments)
Here are the 2011 stats and 2010 for comparison - 2011 10 Homes Sold Lowest price: $257,000 Highest price: $410,000 Shortest Days on Market: 7 Longest Days on Market: 303
2010 17 homes sold Lowest price: $264,000 Highest price: $600,000 Shortest Days on Market: 4 Longest Days on Market: 235 The Intracoastal West area of Jacksonville stretches from the ICW roughly to about Kernan, and Pablo Bay is one of the communities located on San Pablo Road, with easy access to JTB for commuting or to the beach. You can see from the report above home (3 comments)
Who's Driving Who? Does It REALLY Matter? - 07/18/11 08:04 AM
I have read a blog or two recently where the buyers may have navigated themselves, with their agent, to the listing. Typically, I would prefer to drive, especially with out of town buyers, as I know how to get around town better, since I live here. Let's face it, you would HOPE I would know better how to navigate around town, even with GPS systems. And, I really enjoy playing the part of "tour guide" telling them Jacksonville, and points of interest. When my out of town buyers arrived at my office Saturday morning, they had one of their 3 sons (6 comments)
Here are the 2011 stats and 2010 for comparison - 2011 51 Homes Sold Lowest price: $140,000 Highest price: $271,500 Shortest Days on Market: 4 Longest Days on Market: 437
2010 36 homes sold Lowest price: $150,000 Highest price: $280,000 Shortest Days on Market: 2 Longest Days on Market: 645 Home sales are up down an impressive 41% year over year, a great sign that homes are being properly priced. The lowest sold home price, and highest sold home price are very similar, and days on market is down about 30%, another great sign. Bartram (2 comments)
Here are the 2011 stats and 2010 for comparison - 2011 51 Homes Sold Lowest price: $119,000 Highest price: $4,700,000 Shortest Days on Market: 1 Longest Days on Market: 2065
2010 56 homes sold Lowest price: $49,000 Highest price: $5,375,000 Shortest Days on Market: 4 Longest Days on Market: 744 Home sales are down about 8% year over year, very close to flat. The lowest price home sold figures are up impressively year over year, similar to other beaches communities. I’m not concerned at all about the difference in the highest price home sold figures, as Ponte (3 comments)
Hamburgers Served at My Last Open House - 07/14/11 06:51 AM
I have to say, these look fabulous, and I would have never thought it would be possible to have cookies look anything like REAL hamburgers! Great idea, Valerie, and I will certainly keep it in mind for any upcoming events I have! Via Valerie Zinger (Royal Lepage Gale Ottawa-Ontario-Canada): I wanted to make something fun for my Open House last Sunday. I normally have a small bowl of lifesaver mints (individually wrapped) and some packets of Red Zinger tea. Just a bit boring. I found a cute recipe for cookie hamburgers. Basically, a box of Nilla cookies, a can of icing, red and (9 comments)
2010 103 homes sold Lowest price: $146,000 Highest price: $1,000,000 Shortest Days on Market: 1 Longest Days on Market: 665 Ok, I’m not happy to see the lowest price home sold for less year over year, but I also know that particular home was a cash only purchase, small, as-is house, that has been on the market, off and on, for the better part of 4 or so (3 comments)
Neptune Beach, FL January - June 2011 Home Sales - 07/12/11 02:46 PM
Here are the 2011 stats and 2010 for comparison - 2011 31 Homes Sold Lowest price: $130,000 Highest price: $1,500,000 Shortest Days on Market: 0 Longest Days on Market: 531
2010 35 homes sold Lowest price: $89,900 Highest price: $480,000 Shortest Days on Market: 0 Longest Days on Market: 339 This is very consistent with what I have been posting on a monthly basis: the market is improving. Yes, sales are off about 10% year over year, but that is very negligible in our market at this time. The lowest price sold home increased 44% (I have (3 comments)
Here are the 2011 stats and 2010 for comparison - 2011 85 Homes Sold Lowest price: $29,500 Highest price: $2,285,000 Shortest Days on Market: 0 Longest Days on Market: 500
2010 94 homes sold Lowest price: $27,900 Highest price: $3,200,000 Shortest Days on Market: 0 Longest Days on Market: 952 This is very consistent with what I have been posting on a monthly basis: the market is improving. Yes, sales are off about 10% year over year, but that is very negligible in our market at this time. The lowest price sold home increased 5% (and (0 comments)
The Appraiser Said a House Would Last 40 Years - 07/11/11 07:03 AM
I love reading Valerie's blogs, and highly encourage everyone to do so - she has a bunch of followers as there are triple digit comments on this post alone! I'm constantly amazed at the things professionals in our field, and associated fields, will say; in this case, the comments were designed to be incendiary and grab the audience's attention, which they did. These are EXACTLY the kinds of gems we need to pass along to our buyers, so they understand the responsibility they have when purchasing a home. Via Valerie Zinger (Royal Lepage Gale Ottawa-Ontario-Canada): I was at a presentation made by a (3 comments)
Federal Foreclosure Seminar 7/13/11 in Jacksonville, FL - 07/11/11 06:52 AM
If you, or someone you know is either beind on their mortgage, or at risk of foreclosure, make sure you pass this information along to them: Free seminar starting at 11am at the Prime Osborn Convention Center at 1000 Water Street. It will run until 7:30pm. This is part of the Fed's program Making Home Affordable Program, the HOPE NOW Alliance, and NeighborWorks America. This FREE event provides homeowners the opportunity to meet face-to-face with their lender and a HUD-approved agency to work on a solution to help people stay in their homes. I realize this may be short notice, but (1 comments)
The chicken or the egg - 07/10/11 08:07 AM
Valerie has some great points about finding the neighborhood first, or the house - which is more imporant? I suspect for many buyers it varies, depending on what they are looking for. Newer, outlying communities need for population density to hit a certain number to justify a grocey store (a facet we in NE FL are very familiar with), and the same can be said for those older communities that are re-emerging. We guide our buyers to what they are looking for and what best suits their needs - thanks, Valerie! Via Valerie Zinger (Royal Lepage Gale Ottawa-Ontario-Canada):
What comes first, (3 comments)
Ponte Vedra Beach Parking Pilot Program Off To Slow Start, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL - 07/10/11 07:49 AM
A while ago, I posted a blog about the popularity of our sole Ponte Vedra Beach free parking public beach access, Mickler's Landing. Yes, the same Mickler's Landing I visited yesterday morning for my sprint triathlon. The long debated argument about public access to Ponte Vedra Beaches, Mickler's Landing has a nice walkover, bathrooms, showers to rinse off, trash and recycling. And, only 248 parking spots. When those 248 spots are gone, which is about 11am on Sunday 7/3/11, beachgoers park along the side of Mickler's Road, and around other areas, some more legal than others. Hence, a Plan B was (3 comments)
Jacksonville Beach, FL Restoration Work Started 7/8/11 - 07/10/11 07:33 AM
Most of us know how important it is to re nourish the beaches after they get pounded by tropical storm waves, or heavier storm action. I realize the noise, and the decrease in public parking are both undesirable, but the long-term gains, and the fact the Federal Government might make the sting a little less worse. The beach renourishment project will concentrate mainly on Jacksonville & Atlantic Beach, as those are the two larger cities with beaches, and will start at 16th Avenue South, and progress north. Due to the sea turtle season, the sites will be checked daily for new (1 comments)
My First Sprint Triathlon - I Survived & Almost Thrived! - 07/10/11 06:18 AM
After a night of not very much sleep at all, I loaded up my beautiful (rented) Cervelo at 5:30am this morning to drive to the starting point, Mickler's Landing. Mickler's Landing is about 20 minutes from where I live in Jacksonville Beach. As we arrived, the race director was telling us we had bad weather coming in and the race might very well be called (not something I really wanted to hear), and that we were officially in wetsuit temps with the ocean being 76 degrees. I managed to run into my back up tri-buddy, Eden, which was fabulous, as her (9 comments)
Tomorrow Is THE Day - My First Sprint Triathlon! - 07/08/11 01:18 PM
If I told you I was all calm and cool about this, I'm not. My buddy had to drop out due to her mother's health, which really should not be a big deal, as we only had one training session together in the past 10 weeks, but it shook me a bit just the same. I've managed to make contact with someone else I know, who will be there, and help me get my transition area set up, since I have no earthly idea of what I'm doing. I feel so electric, it's unbelievable! Add to that we may well have (7 comments)
Atlantic Beach, FL June 2011 Home Sales - 07/08/11 07:59 AM
Here are the 2011 stats and 2010 for comparison - 2011 17 Homes Sold (May=12, so an increase of 5) Lowest price: $30,000 (May=$48,000) Highest price: $975,000 (May=$535,000) Shortest Days on Market: 1 (May=0) Longest Days on Market: 245 (May=260)
2010 16 homes sold (May=18) Lowest price: $25,000 (May=$38,000) Highest price: $740,000 (May=$835,000) Shortest Days on Market: 2 (May=0) Longest Days on Market: 426 (May=449) This market report does not seem quite as rosy as Jacksonville & Neptune Beach, but there is still good news: for the second month in a row, the lowest priced home sold is up (3 comments)
Here are the 2011 stats and 2010 for comparison - 2011 7 Homes Sold (May=9) Lowest price: $160,000 (May=$130,000) Highest price: $1,500,000 (May=$637,500) Shortest Days on Market: 13 (May=9) Longest Days on Market: 531 (May=224)
2010 10 homes sold (May=7) Lowest price: $100,000 (May=$150,000 ) Highest price: $480,000 (May=$298,900) Shortest Days on Market: 1 (May=3) Longest Days on Market: 243 (May=166) This is very consistent with the Jacksonville Beach home sales post I just wrote: there are so many great things about this post! Lowest sold home price is up year over year, and month over month, an (3 comments)
Jacksonville Beach, FL June 2011 Statistics - 07/07/11 10:20 AM
Here are the 2011 stats and 2010 for comparison - 2011 24 Homes Sold (up 2 from May, or 10%) Lowest price: $121,000 (May=$62,000) Highest price: $825,000 (May=$500,000 ) Shortest Days on Market: 5 (May=20) Longest Days on Market: 251 (May=562)
2010 29 homes sold (May=19) Lowest price: $69,000 (May=$140,000 ) Highest price: $900,000 (May=$495,000 ) Shortest Days on Market: 4 (May=1) Longest Days on Market: 665 (May=210) There are so many great facets to these stats: lowest end sales price is up, which is a leading indicator of a stabilizing market; longest days on market is down significantly, (0 comments)
Why Can't We See That House NOW? - 07/05/11 10:52 AM
Having just spent part of my holiday weekend working with out of town buyers, this post was inspired by how difficult it can be to show property over holiday weekends. Buyers want to be able to see everything that fits their criteria, and sometimes homes that don't fit their criteria. Why?Part of it is the vacation mentality, I think, where they are just so in love with the place they want to be part of the community sooner rather than later. Sellers want to be able to have some kind of normalcy when they are selling, and chances are good they (81 comments)
Why Didn't We Keep Our Showing Appointment? - 07/04/11 08:08 AM
I'm sure we've all had things happen when showing properties, from actual emergencies arising, requiring a buyer to leave promptly, to driving up to the property and having the buyer say "No way. I'm not getting out of the car!". It's our job as a buyer's agent to show the buyers the houses they want to see, the ones they can envision their families living in. Now, I try to spend time in the office with my buyers first to confirm what we are looking for in person. That is not always possible, however, as my buyers came in from (7 comments)
Fireworks in Jacksonville, FL 7/4/11 - 07/03/11 08:00 AM
Here is where to see our fabulous fireworks safely this weekend; as you may be aware, we still have very dry conditions and fireworks should only be displayed/operated by those with professional experience and in controlled settings to ensure no one is injured and there are minimal opportunities for a spark to start another fire. Looking for fireworks? Here's a list of displays in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia. A list of other Independence Day weekend events follows. FIREWORKS Saturday Orange Park: 9 p.m., Orange Park Mall, JC Penney parking lot and lawn, 1910 Wells Road. (904) 269-9413. Darien, Ga.: Dusk, Red, White (6 comments)
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